Taste Five - Valparaiso, Indiana
What is this? It looks like the reduction of balsamic vinegar in olive oil is some sort of mischievous tad pole getting ready to take a bite out of the roasted garlic. And that white wedge that looks like cheese? That's butter. Yeah, a big triangle of B-U-T-T-E-R. It came with delicious bread and we e't it all.
Jeff and I went to the last Taste Five of the summer here in Valparaiso, Indiana. It's a night where five of the downtown restaurants do a five dollar menu on the first Thursday of the month. It's a great way to drum up business on our little main street a.k.a. Lincolnway. Plus there is bonus entertainment. Each restaurant even gets its own musician for the night.
We decided to try the two restaurants that we hadn't had a chance to sample yet: Bistro 157 and Don Quixote's. I was looking forward to both of them. We went to Bistro 157 first. It made my skirt fly up.
For starters their guitarist played only music I knew. I had to sing along to Van Morrison and Simon and Garfunkel. I noticed the table next to me was also singing along. Perhaps it was the delicious Asian pear martinis giving a little bit of courage?
We tried two appetizers off their Taste Five menu. The Beef and Smoked Gouda Quesadilla was decadent, but the Duck Pot Stickers with sweet chili dipping sauce stole the show. So tangy and crispy and fresh with just the right amount of spice ... wow ... everyone should try these. That's all I have to say about that.
Poor Don Quixote's didn't stand a chance. We went there next and their sangria tasted like sprite mixed with a wine cooler and the fried goat cheese tasted like crispy ricotta. Such a shame. Goat cheese should be creamy, not clotted. The waiter was very friendly. He was the bright spot in the evening at Don Quixote's. We'll give them another chance. Perhaps it's just the fried goat cheese that is below par.
Also I didn't get any good photos at Don Quixote's. It was getting dark, so my camera wasn't taking quality photos. (All the Taste Five restaurants have outdoor seating and since it was a beautiful evening eveyone was sitting outside.)
Unfortunately this was the last Taste Five of the summer. Wish we had been on our game, we would have gone every first Thursday for the Valpo Taste Five.